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  • In Terry I Trust

    If you were surprised in any way by return in the Denard Span trade, you shouldn't have been. Terry Ryan told us this was coming four months ago.

    Back in July, with the trade deadline approaching, Ryan spoke about his approach:

    As desperate as the Twins are to find starting pitching for 2013, a Liriano or Denard Span trade might not even address that specific need. Speaking only generally Thursday, GM Terry Ryan said, "When you're out there looking around, I think it's important you're always looking for the high-ceiling guy, whether he's major league-ready or whether he's in A-ball."

    To focus solely on the 2013 rotation "would be a terrible mistake," Ryan said.

    Ryan said the best target might be a Class A pitcher, who's further from the majors.

    "You can go get a marginal Triple-A guy who might be here next year," he said. "Are you going to be satisfied passing up a high-ceiling guy? I wouldn't be, but everybody has their own philosophy on that."
    The general manager's recent quotes after trading Span to the Nationals for Alex Meyer reflect the same mindset:

    "This guy, even though he's been in pro ball a short time, has first-round status," Ryan said. "He's out of the University of Kentucky, highly touted. These guys are hard to get, and if you are going to get them, it's going to be in the low to mid-minors. Once they get up to Double A or Triple A, they are almost impossible to get."
    This is what I love about Terry Ryan, particularly in contrast to his tight-lipped predecessor, whose initials were fittingly "B.S." With TR, you know what you're getting. While I don't necessarily always agree with his methods, I trust the man.

    That's why I feel good about this trade. Given that the Twins were known to be talking to the Nationals back in July, when Ryan was describing a "high-ceiling guy" who might be in A-ball, there's a good chance he was targeting Meyer who fits that bill exactly. (Worth noting that Meyer could not technically be traded then as he was less than a year removed from signing, but could have been shipped as a PTBNL.)


    Back around the deadline, a source (from the Nats?) told Jon Heyman that the Twins were "asking a ton" for Span, who didn't end up getting moved.

    Many people seem disappointed or at best unenthused about the return for Span. But it seems clear that one side finally relinquished in this long-time haggling over the center fielder, and the timing would suggest it was Washington's Mike Rizzo. After all, just days earlier he'd watched division rival Atlanta sign center fielder B.J. Upton to a huge five-year deal. That's pressure.

    My take is that Ryan coveted Meyer highly and the Nationals were very reluctant to give him up, even in a one-for-one swap that brought back a very valuable established player. And why not? Meyer has a first-round pedigree, a fastball that registers in the high-90s and a physical build that could portend dominance. Legitimate top-of-the-rotation potential.

    No prospect is a sure thing, which is the scary part of all this, but if Meyer develops even into a quality No. 3, six cost-controlled seasons of his service at a time where the price of free agent pitching is escalating will make this a knockout victory. If he turns into a true front line guy, Ryan's trade will be a success of franchise-altering proportions.

    Span was a largely underrated player and the Twins will miss him, but their long-term outfield depth made him relatively expendable. Ryan could have probably flipped Span for multiple lesser prospects or an ordinary major-league talent, but instead turned in his chip for the high-upside play.

    Just as he's said he would all along.
    This article was originally published in blog: In Terry I Trust started by Nick Nelson
    Comments 146 Comments
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by lee_the_twins_fan View Post
      Yes, I did not realize that... Interesting it was 10th in runs scored, 11th in hits and 14th in home runs in 2012. In 2011, however, it was 21st in runs scored, 20th in home runs and tied for 11th in hits.

      I suspect Minnesota's bad pitching last year contributed to the increased run production on ESPN's chart.

      It appears the field has essentially leveled out between pitching an hitting.
      Twins pitching was pretty bad in 2011 too :-) I think we're seeing eye to eye though.
    1. gunnarthor's Avatar
      gunnarthor -
      Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by gunnarthor View Post
      Well, I think this thread helped us learn a lot about certain posters, if nothing else. I am stunned that someone on the internet failed to apologize for his comments and, in spite of evidence to the contrary, dug in and purposefully ignored/misunderstood other posters to do so. Absolutely stunned.
      I'd still like to hear how BJ Upton is a better player then Denard Span, especially moving forward. Not a better value, not a better person, a better player..
      Span had a higher WAR last year than Upton. Span had the higher wOBA last year. One could quite rationally look at downward trend lines in Upton's defensive value over the last few years to suggest the 1000 or so games are starting to add up on his body. But that's never been the point. There are arguments either way. But your treatment of Brock and Puck was purposefully dense, to be kind.
    1. lee_the_twins_fan's Avatar
      lee_the_twins_fan -
      And Willingham's contribution added to the field's home run numbers.
    1. lee_the_twins_fan's Avatar
      lee_the_twins_fan -
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by lee_the_twins_fan View Post
      Yes, I did not realize that... Interesting it was 10th in runs scored, 11th in hits and 14th in home runs in 2012. In 2011, however, it was 21st in runs scored, 20th in home runs and tied for 11th in hits.

      I suspect Minnesota's bad pitching last year contributed to the increased run production on ESPN's chart.

      It appears the field has essentially leveled out between pitching an hitting.
      Twins pitching was pretty bad in 2011 too :-) I think we're seeing eye to eye though.
      True.
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      This is like being back at BYTO except that there's more people to fuel the madness.

      Not to get back on topic, but Terry Ryan never seemed to be the type that liked being forced into a trade. Some have suggested that this was part of the reason he resigned so that he didn't have to deal with the Santana mess... and the Hunter mess... I'm with Nick on this one. Terry hasn't lost out often when he let the market come to him. Bill Smith on the other hand, was just the opposite. Now I just hope that he will actually make some good FA moves.
    1. Wookiee of the Year's Avatar
      Wookiee of the Year -
      Good find with those quotes.

      I wonder what level of pitcher Span would've brought in a trade for an established major league SP. I have to think at maximum value, not much better than a #4 with maybe #3 upside. And given the Twins likely won't be much good until Meyer hits the majors, anyway, there's no reason not to delay talent.

      That's probably the standard I'll hold Meyer to now--as long as he turns out to be at least a #4, I'll say we got full value for Span. I like Terry Ryan's approach of preferring upside over established mediocre guys, and I'd say early signs point to Span bringing a solid return.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by Wookiee of the Year View Post
      Good find with those quotes.

      I wonder what level of pitcher Span would've brought in a trade for an established major league SP. I have to think at maximum value, not much better than a #4 with maybe #3 upside. And given the Twins likely won't be much good until Meyer hits the majors, anyway, there's no reason not to delay talent.

      That's probably the standard I'll hold Meyer to now--as long as he turns out to be at least a #4, I'll say we got full value for Span. I like Terry Ryan's approach of preferring upside over established mediocre guys, and I'd say early signs point to Span bringing a solid return.
      If we have to wait till 2014, 2015 (two, three seasons) and he's only a #4 pitcher, we got straight up robbed.
    1. deanlambrecht's Avatar
      deanlambrecht -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      Nick, you touched on a point that I mentioned a few days ago but seems to have fallen by the wayside:

      I think Meyer was Ryan's target all along, dating back to last July. I think it was only after the Upton signing that Rizzo buckled to the pressure and gave up what Terry wanted for Span.

      Patience is a virtue. From an outside observer, this looks to be a classic example of letting the market come to you instead of forcing the issue. And I don't think Ryan could have done much better with this move. Meyer is exactly what Twins fans have been clamoring for since Santana left.
      Hope this hasn't been said yet but I'm rushing. Sorry.

      Patience fits both sides of the coin in this story. Rizzo was likely reluctant to take Span mid way through the year when he was still a bit more of an unknown vis a vis his concussion recovery status. Denard made it through, as we know, with flying colors, so that question mark for Rizzo goes away.

      If that's the case, that's good work by both GMs.
    1. Kwak's Avatar
      Kwak -
      Back to the thread--Trust in Terry. The Strib published a story on the Twins today and it appears that Ryan is backing off from his statement of "three new starting pitchers".
      "I don't think you can put a number on it." "We will try to get as many as we can." And we're not going to get someone just for the sake of adding someone." "It has to be someone who likes our situation...".

      I infer that Ryan realizes that adding three new SPs was a tall order and likely based on certain assumptions--like cost and available dollars in the budget. I read where the budget is probably $90MM rather than the $100MM figure bandied about (by others). "...like our situation..." likely excludes someone who just wants a 1-year "make-good" contract so he can get a big raise for 2014--hence "Goodbye" to Baker--who probably was the most likely free agent who would sign with the Twins for 2013. I perceived that his earlier statements implied that the talent level in 2013 would be significantly improved--no, not to the level of playoff contender--but to the level of a .500 ballclub. I guess I don't know if my definition of "Trust" is the same as Nick Nelson, but from now on I will take any statement Ryan makes with a grain of salt--not because of dishonesty--but because he is speaking for others and the assumptions made for his statements can change significantly due to the whims of others.
    1. Wookiee of the Year's Avatar
      Wookiee of the Year -
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Wookiee of the Year View Post
      Good find with those quotes.

      I wonder what level of pitcher Span would've brought in a trade for an established major league SP. I have to think at maximum value, not much better than a #4 with maybe #3 upside. And given the Twins likely won't be much good until Meyer hits the majors, anyway, there's no reason not to delay talent.

      That's probably the standard I'll hold Meyer to now--as long as he turns out to be at least a #4, I'll say we got full value for Span. I like Terry Ryan's approach of preferring upside over established mediocre guys, and I'd say early signs point to Span bringing a solid return.
      If we have to wait till 2014, 2015 (two, three seasons) and he's only a #4 pitcher, we got straight up robbed.
      You really think there's any chance he debuts in 2013? Especially given the Twins' M.O. of slowly advancing prospects? I think 2014's a pretty good bet but 2015 strikes me as more likely than 2013.

      Will I be disappointed if Meyer ends up only a #4? Absolutely. But I don't think two years of Span, even with his team-friendly contract, was going to draw a return much larger than that in an MLB-ready player, anyway.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by Wookiee of the Year View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Wookiee of the Year View Post
      Good find with those quotes.

      I wonder what level of pitcher Span would've brought in a trade for an established major league SP. I have to think at maximum value, not much better than a #4 with maybe #3 upside. And given the Twins likely won't be much good until Meyer hits the majors, anyway, there's no reason not to delay talent.

      That's probably the standard I'll hold Meyer to now--as long as he turns out to be at least a #4, I'll say we got full value for Span. I like Terry Ryan's approach of preferring upside over established mediocre guys, and I'd say early signs point to Span bringing a solid return.
      If we have to wait till 2014, 2015 (two, three seasons) and he's only a #4 pitcher, we got straight up robbed.
      You really think there's any chance he debuts in 2013? Especially given the Twins' M.O. of slowly advancing prospects? I think 2014's a pretty good bet but 2015 strikes me as more likely than 2013.

      Will I be disappointed if Meyer ends up only a #4? Absolutely. But I don't think two years of Span, even with his team-friendly contract, was going to draw a return much larger than that in an MLB-ready player, anyway.
      Nope, I absolutely don't...I've been saying 2015 myself...but if he makes it, and I absolutely believe he will, I don't think he'll just be a number 4
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by deanlambrecht View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      Nick, you touched on a point that I mentioned a few days ago but seems to have fallen by the wayside:

      I think Meyer was Ryan's target all along, dating back to last July. I think it was only after the Upton signing that Rizzo buckled to the pressure and gave up what Terry wanted for Span.

      Patience is a virtue. From an outside observer, this looks to be a classic example of letting the market come to you instead of forcing the issue. And I don't think Ryan could have done much better with this move. Meyer is exactly what Twins fans have been clamoring for since Santana left.
      Hope this hasn't been said yet but I'm rushing. Sorry.

      Patience fits both sides of the coin in this story. Rizzo was likely reluctant to take Span mid way through the year when he was still a bit more of an unknown vis a vis his concussion recovery status. Denard made it through, as we know, with flying colors, so that question mark for Rizzo goes away.

      If that's the case, that's good work by both GMs.
      It didn't hurt his value to remain committed to him CF, as well. Well played by the GM.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post

      It didn't hurt his value to remain committed to him CF, as well. Well played by the GM.
      Didn't hurt he was our best option at CF either
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by Kwak View Post
      Back to the thread--Trust in Terry. The Strib published a story on the Twins today and it appears that Ryan is backing off from his statement of "three new starting pitchers".
      "I don't think you can put a number on it." "We will try to get as many as we can." And we're not going to get someone just for the sake of adding someone." "It has to be someone who likes our situation...".


      I infer that Ryan realizes that adding three new SPs was a tall order and likely based on certain assumptions--like cost and available dollars in the budget. I read where the budget is probably $90MM rather than the $100MM figure bandied about (by others). "...like our situation..." likely excludes someone who just wants a 1-year "make-good" contract so he can get a big raise for 2014--hence "Goodbye" to Baker--who probably was the most likely free agent who would sign with the Twins for 2013. I perceived that his earlier statements implied that the talent level in 2013 would be significantly improved--no, not to the level of playoff contender--but to the level of a .500 ballclub. I guess I don't know if my definition of "Trust" is the same as Nick Nelson, but from now on I will take any statement Ryan makes with a grain of salt--not because of dishonesty--but because he is speaking for others and the assumptions made for his statements can change significantly due to the whims of others.
      The last quote belies what certain posters have proffered on TD, ie "that 20 out of 21 times, a player always takes the most money on the table".

      My guess is that TR's early contacts with agents around even the second-tier SPs have told Ryan that their clients would have to absolutely blown away in an offer to even consider the Twins- and there ain't no way that Ryan is going to ridiculously overbid.

      I agree with your last paragraph completely. See AsburyJohn's quote for your last comment- Being GM is a very very tough job. Shooting for .500 will be a tall, tall order............ talking out of the side your mouth to agents, the fans and the media about "contending" has to represent a Migraine-inducing level of Cognitive Dissonance.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post

      It didn't hurt his value to remain committed to him CF, as well. Well played by the GM.
      Didn't hurt he was our best option at CF either
      Not sure about that, he was a terrific RF and I would have taken the trade-off at flipping the RF and CF (the new CFer's best position is CF, not right, which was his worst), if it would have mattered in the standings.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Wookiee of the Year View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Wookiee of the Year View Post
      Good find with those quotes.

      I wonder what level of pitcher Span would've brought in a trade for an established major league SP. I have to think at maximum value, not much better than a #4 with maybe #3 upside. And given the Twins likely won't be much good until Meyer hits the majors, anyway, there's no reason not to delay talent.

      That's probably the standard I'll hold Meyer to now--as long as he turns out to be at least a #4, I'll say we got full value for Span. I like Terry Ryan's approach of preferring upside over established mediocre guys, and I'd say early signs point to Span bringing a solid return.
      If we have to wait till 2014, 2015 (two, three seasons) and he's only a #4 pitcher, we got straight up robbed.
      You really think there's any chance he debuts in 2013? Especially given the Twins' M.O. of slowly advancing prospects? I think 2014's a pretty good bet but 2015 strikes me as more likely than 2013.

      Will I be disappointed if Meyer ends up only a #4? Absolutely. But I don't think two years of Span, even with his team-friendly contract, was going to draw a return much larger than that in an MLB-ready player, anyway.
      Nope, I absolutely don't...I've been saying 2015 myself...but if he makes it, and I absolutely believe he will, I don't think he'll just be a number 4
      2015 is the most realistic DOA. Would love to see some combination of Johnson and Verlander from the new Staff Ace. To go with Gibson, Diamond, Wimmers and Berrios on the fast-track in June of that year to replace the latest Jason Marquis flop. We can still hope, can't we?
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post

      It didn't hurt his value to remain committed to him CF, as well. Well played by the GM.
      Didn't hurt he was our best option at CF either
      Not sure about that, he was a terrific RF and I would have taken the trade-off at flipping the RF and CF (the new CFer's best position is CF, not right, which was his worst), if it would have mattered in the standings.
      He was rated as the 3rd best defensive CF in baseball this year. That's darn good. I'm comfortable in saying he was our best option. I know Revere has the speed, but I'm not quite comfortable with him reading the ball of the bat well yet. He misjudges a lot. RF is more forgiving in that regard due to less space to cover. His UZR was very high in RF mostly due to having a lot of bad RFs to compare him to
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Anyway, I gotta crash...I enjoyed the conversation. Later
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post

      It didn't hurt his value to remain committed to him CF, as well. Well played by the GM.
      Didn't hurt he was our best option at CF either
      Not sure about that, he was a terrific RF and I would have taken the trade-off at flipping the RF and CF (the new CFer's best position is CF, not right, which was his worst), if it would have mattered in the standings.
      He was rated as the 3rd best defensive CF in baseball this year. That's darn good. I'm comfortable in saying he was our best option. I know Revere has the speed, but I'm not quite comfortable with him reading the ball of the bat well yet. He misjudges a lot. RF is more forgiving in that regard due to less space to cover. His UZR was very high in RF mostly due to having a lot of bad RFs to compare him to
      I agree with you- Span is better than Revere in judging the wall and obviously has a better arm. He doesn't nearly cover the ground anymore that Revere does, but I still think with Span being better than Revere at both positions based on experience and arm, it would have been better to have Revere in CF--- but again, only because it would have maximized what Revere does best and minimize all the runners who advanced two bases on him (1st-3rd, 2nd to Home) that would have had much more respect for Span in RF. Again, this only would have mattered in my way of thinking if the Twins had had any chance of competing, and the opposite positioning being employed could have been evaluated within a month and just as easily proven you to be correct.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      Anyway, I gotta crash...I enjoyed the conversation. Later
      Thanks, same goes.
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